These dangerous design defects were known to Aearo (predecessor to 3M) in 2000 (and later 3M) when it completed testing of the dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs. 3M falsely represented and certified that their earplugs complied with the military’s requirements and Salient Characteristics of Medical Procurements Item Description (”MPID”). 3M knew at all times their Combat Arms Earplugs would not block, or at least significantly reduce, loud impulse sounds such as battlefield explosions and gunfire, to the detriment of service members.
In July of 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve claims that it supplied the United States military with defective dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs. While 3M did not admit to its wrongdoing, the claims it paid $9.1M to settle alleged that their earplugs were defective and that 3M engaged in fraudulent conduct that concealed the ineffectiveness of the earplugs and negatively affected the hearing and well being of U.S. troops.
The whistleblower that brought the suit received $1,911,000.
This money will not go to veterans and soldiers, however. Military service personnel who used these earplugs must file a civil lawsuit to be compensated for their injuries.